Speciation in tropical reef fish occurs through a variety of methods. It occurs allopatrically when larvae are isolated and populations are geographically distinct from one another. Allopatric speciation also occurs in the marine environment due to physical changes in the environment over large time scales. Sympatric speciation also occurs in the marine environment and is divided into several unique methods that include the following models: stepping stones, adaptive radiations, color morphologies, and the presence of cryptic species. In the following sections explore the causes of speciation in tropical reef fish and addresses the following questions: What are the driving forces behind reef fish speciation and how did genetic divergence occur initially? And, how is it possible that the diversity of reef fish is so high when the competitive exclusion principle states that only one specie may exist in a given ecological niche?
"Methods of Speciation in Tropical Reef Fish,"
Rollins Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 2
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarship.rollins.edu/rurj/vol2/iss1/8